"Tomatoes, corn and peas should be consumed as soon as possible after picking because their sugar content quickly decreases."
Naill Edworthy, The Curious Gardener's Almanac
There’s nothing like having your white corn harvested by intruders to make you long for fresh sweet corn. So I got some at the Farmer’s Market and made this recipe, adapted from one of my favorite vegetable cookbooks, "Homegrown Pure and Simple, great healthy food from garden to table” by Michel Nischan and Mary Goodbody, 2005, Chronicle Books, San Francisco. Because the people I cook for can’t manage corn on the cob, this is a perfect way to enjoy fresh corn.
10-12 ears of corn
¼ cup whole milk (I use Half and Half)
1 fresh vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or ½ t pure vanilla extract
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Using a sharp knife, cut the corn kernels from the corn kernels from the cob. You should have 9 – 10 cups kernels. Discard the cobs.
Juice half the corn kernels in a heavy-duty juicer. Remove the pulp from the juicer and put it in a fine-mesh sieve. Press on the pulp to extract as much juice from it as you can. Combine this juice with the rest of the corn juice for a total of about 2 cups.
In a large saucepan, combine the corn juice, the remaining corn kernels, the milk, and the vanilla bean (if using extract, add later) and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer gently, stirring constantly, for 2 – 3 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken. Simmer for about 3 minutes longer or until the corn is cooked through. If using extract, stir it in after the corn is cooked.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately. The dish is so sweet, you could almost use it as a desert. I tend to overcook the corn to suit my family, but if you leave it slightly al dente it has a nice crunch that I prefer. I use 6 ears and slightly less cream, but I use the whole vanilla bean. It makes three generous servings.